HUFFINGTON POST

These Photos Show Liberia's Hope And Relief As Ebola Wanes

The Ebola outbreak that wreaked havoc in west African countries over the past year is finally showing signs of receding.

The number of new Ebola cases has plummeted in recent weeks, with the World Health Organization counting 99 confirmed new cases in the week to January 25, the lowest number since June 2014.

Since the outbreak began in December 2013, Ebola has killed 8,810 people, the vast majority in three countries: Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The virus continues to spread in Guinea, but the number of cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone has fallen dramatically recently. Last week, the Liberian government said there were just five confirmed cases left in the country.

In the worst days of the outbreak, Liberia locked down neighborhoods and enforced cremations in its struggle to contain the virus. Now, as life in the nation slowly begins to return to normal, Getty Images photographer John Moore documented the transformation.

  • Bindu Quaye poses for photos with flower girls before her wedding reception on Jan. 24, 2015 in Monrovia, Liberia. Like many
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Bindu Quaye poses for photos with flower girls before her wedding reception on Jan. 24, 2015 in Monrovia, Liberia. Like many couples, Quaye and her groom, Clarence Murvee, waited until the worst of the Ebola epidemic had passed before scheduling their wedding. In order to control the outbreak, the government and international aid agencies discouraged public gatherings and physical touching. With Ebola cases now in single digits nationwide, people have begun to return to normal life.
  • Youth play soccer on 'Miami Beach' in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 25, 2015.
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Youth play soccer on 'Miami Beach' in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 25, 2015.
  • A congregation prays during a Sunday service at the Bethel World Outreach Church in the West Point township in Monrovia, Libe
    John Moore/Getty Images
    A congregation prays during a Sunday service at the Bethel World Outreach Church in the West Point township in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 25, 2015.
  • Liberians socialize on 'Miami Beach' in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 25, 2015.
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Liberians socialize on 'Miami Beach' in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 25, 2015.
  • A boy climbs aboard a fishing boat docked in the West Point township in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 24, 2015.
    John Moore/Getty Images
    A boy climbs aboard a fishing boat docked in the West Point township in Monrovia, Liberia on Jan. 24, 2015.
  • Lawmakers and guests gather to hear Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf deliver her State of the Nation address to a joi
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Lawmakers and guests gather to hear Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf deliver her State of the Nation address to a joint session of the Liberian legislature in Monrovia on Jan. 26, 2015. Sirleaf lauded Liberia's efforts to combat the Ebola epidemic, noting that the country currently only has five confirmed cases of the virus nationwide.
  • Liberian police hold hands to form a human chain while waiting for Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to emerge from th
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Liberian police hold hands to form a human chain while waiting for Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to emerge from the national legislature building in Monrovia on Jan. 26, 2015.
  • Students wait to register at Tubman High School in Monrovia on Jan. 27, 2015.
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Students wait to register at Tubman High School in Monrovia on Jan. 27, 2015.
  • Ebola survivor Jessy Amos, 45, now an employee of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), watches after setting fire to part of the Eb
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Ebola survivor Jessy Amos, 45, now an employee of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), watches after setting fire to part of the Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville, Liberia, on Jan. 26, 2015. MSF, which was one of the first aid organizations to respond to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, is destroying much of the ELWA 3 high-risk treatment area in light of recent gains in eradicating the disease. In addition, other aid organizations have built ETUs, creating more bed space for Ebola victims around the capital of Monrovia.
  • Health workers from MSF stand during prayers before the burning of a section of their Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville on
    John Moore/Getty Images
    Health workers from MSF stand during prayers before the burning of a section of their Ebola Treatment Unit in Paynesville on Jan. 26, 2015.
  • UNICEF workers assemble 'school infection prevention kits' in Monrovia to stop the spread of Ebola in schools on Jan. 28, 201
    John Moore/Getty Images
    UNICEF workers assemble 'school infection prevention kits' in Monrovia to stop the spread of Ebola in schools on Jan. 28, 2015.
  • A Liberian Red Cross burial team in Ebola protectant clothing collects the body of a toddler from a home in the West Point to
    John Moore/Getty Images
    A Liberian Red Cross burial team in Ebola protectant clothing collects the body of a toddler from a home in the West Point township in Monrovia on Jan. 28, 2015.
  • A grave digger works in a cemetery for 'safe burials' in Disco Hill, Liberia on Jan. 27, 2015. The cemetery, operated by <a h
    John Moore/Getty Images
    A grave digger works in a cemetery for 'safe burials' in Disco Hill, Liberia on Jan. 27, 2015. The cemetery, operated by USAID-funded Global Communities, has buried almost 300 people in its first month of operation, with increasingly fewer of the bodies coming from Ebola Treatment Units, as infection rates decline. The cemetery, where burial team members wear protective clothing, has been seen in Monrovia as a major achievement, as families of deceased loved ones are permitted to view the burials, important in Liberian culture. In an effort to control the Ebola epidemic in 2014, the Liberian government had ordered the cremation of all deceased in the capital, often further traumatizing surviving family members and unintentionally encouraging many families to hide their dead for secret burials.
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